Israel pushes for “voluntary migration” for Palestinians in Gaza: Report

An Israeli newspaper has reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pushing for plans to implement "voluntary migration" of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to other countries. Hundreds of thousands of Gazans have been subject to forced displacement inside Gaza since Israeli war on the enclave in early October.

According to the Israel Hayom daily, Netanyahu made the comment during a closed-door parliamentary session for his ruling Likud Party lawmakers.

“Our problem is the countries that are willing to absorb (them), and we are working on it,” he reportedly said.

Danny Danon of the Likud Party stated during the session that there are countries that actually raised this issue, including Canadian Immigration Minister Marc Miller and former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who is seeking the US Republican Party nomination for the 2024 presidential elections.

He added that Israel must form a committee to follow up the issue to ensure that anyone who wants to move to a third country can do that.

On several occasions, the US, Arab and European countries have voiced firm opposition to imposing any form of “forced migration” on Palestinians in Gaza.

The Palestinian side, including the Palestinian Authority and Hamas group, has yet to comment on the reported Israeli statement.

Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip since a cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas on Oct. 7, killing at least 20,700 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injuring 54,536 others, according to local health authorities.

Around 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed in the Hamas attack.

The Israeli onslaught has left Gaza in ruins, with half of the coastal territory’s housing damaged or destroyed and nearly 2 million people displaced within the densely populated enclave amid acute shortages of food and clean water.

Palestine has condemned Netanyahu’s plan to encourage Palestinians to voluntarily leave Gaza, calling for an international stand against it.

“Netanyahu’s confessions regarding the displacement of our people is a new blow to the countries supporting him in the genocidal war on Gaza Strip,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Palestinian group Hamas also condemned Netanyahu’s plan, saying it is an attempt to “prolong the aggression.”

“The Palestinian people will not allow to pass any plan that aims to obliterate their cause or to get them out of their lands and sanctities,” it added.

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